MANITO, Ill. (WMBD)–A Manito woman was joined by family and friends to celebrate her 100th birthday while social distancing from their cars.
Ann Simmering turned an even 100 years old on Saturday. Staff at the Lodge Assisted Living in Manito let the party go on with loved ones as long as they kept their distance, bringing some light to a rainy day.
Family and friends of Ann Simmering made sure her 100th birthday was a special one despite the ongoing pandemic.
“We had to do something different and this was the way it was steered and it worked out well,” said Ann’s daughter, Kim Simmering.
The family originally had a big party planned, but due to social distancing, they threw a birthday parade instead.
“We had to make lemonade out of lemons,” said Ann’s daughter, Billie Garmin.
Ann sat in the lobby of her retirement home as hundreds of cars, some filled with family and others filled with friends from over the years came by to celebrate.
“It fills my heart that they took the time to do this,” Simmering said.
“She’s a special person anyway, no matter who meets her, they just fall under her charisma,” Garmin said.
Ann received gifts, signs, balloons, cards and even had a Zoom session with the family and friends who couldn’t make the trip into town.
“This was a total surprise to her and we could not have pulled it off with all of our friends and the participation that we had,” Simmering said.
“I have the most wonderful children in the world, if you don’t believe me ask them. They are a mother’s joy, from the bottom of my heart,” said Ann Simmering.
Ann and her family hope to have an in-person celebration with the whole family, once the pandemic dies down.
Ann’s family also says their mom is still in relatively great health and in regards to the pandemic, Ann Simmering says we’ll get through this and we’ll be okay.